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- Aroused by Their Voice: His first words are to not let his "sultry" voice confuse or alarm you.
- Deadpan Snarker: It basically runs on this trope.
- Eldritch Location: Besides being a sapient, talking geological formation the place can contain multiple separate biomes with locations from hundreds of years apart underground, going down it all the way somehow sends you back to the top, and if you keep what you came for, the ladder to the surface is implied to be endless.
- Genius Loci
- Interactive Narrator: Played with; while he functions very much as one, it's made explicit from the very beginning that he is an actual character in the game world, he just happens to be a faceless seemingly-omniscient being with an omnipresent voice like most narrators.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He has a rather cruel sense of humor and oftentimes makes jokes that are in bad taste, but he seems to have the players interest at heart. He encourages them to look past the failures and see what lessons there are to be learned, and maintains faith that when the player makes their own journey into The Cave, they'll be ready to make the right decisions.
- Journey to the Center of the Mind: The game is this for both the cave and the characters. It seems to be very much telepathic, as it presents precisely those defining circumstances to those characters who choose to enter it.
- Lemony Narrator
- No Fourth Wall: As shown at several points, the cave addresses us the players as fluently as the characters. Maybe more so.
- Seen It All: So says Mister Gilbert."Because of the amount of people that he’s seen coming down here and their descendants, nothing surprises him anymore. Everybody’s been down here at some point or another."
- Unreliable Narrator: Its Sarcasm Mode in full effect may make it seem to be this, but in the end it's totally accurate to each character's choices.
The humans in general
- Character Development: Either the character development happened during the journey, or the journey merely reviews character development that already occurred. The bad endings depict them having succumbed to inner demons in the past, and either dealing with or choosing to ignore the fallout of their decisions. The Good Endings show what is either them biting down on their inherent flaws at the last minute, or their expressing sorrow over not doing so (it's ambiguous which actually happened). Either way, they leave The Cave with an appreciation of moral consequences.
- Double Meaning: All of The Cave's introductions for the characters become a lot more sinister once you see what they are entering The Cave for.
- Heroic Mime: The flashbacks make it clear they're capable of talking, but in-game they don't say anything.
- Villain Protagonist: Yes. ALL of them.
- Anti-Villain: In the Good Endings, if you interpret it as the characters having made the bad decisions in the past and regretted them after the journey into The Cave.
- Anti-Hero: Also in the Good Endings, if you instead interpret it as the characters having refused to make the evil decisions in the past, despite all the villainous build-up, backstory, and inner demons, and the journey into The Cave was just a review of that history.
"He is on a quest for a sword of unequaled power and prestige...but will he find it before anyone else gets hurt?"A man in full plate armor, whose helmet completely covers his face. Can create a barrier around him that is immune to all damage, but he cannot move while it is active.
- Barrier Warrior/Nigh-Invulnerability: With his ability.
- Epic Fail: In his bad ending, as a result of trying to take down the dragon, the entire kingdom goes up in flames.
- Excalibur in the Stone: His object of desire. He can't pull it from the stone until his partners use some dynamite to loosen it.
- Legendary Impostor: He's actually a peasant who stole the armor from the real (late) knight.
- Multiple Endings: If the knight chooses to take the sword from the cave, his ending is to burn to death along with the king and the country when the dragon attacks. If he leaves what he desires most behind, then he reveals who he really is to the king, who subsequently prepares his soldiers for battle instead of depending on an irresponsible boy to save him.
- Reality Ensues: His bad ending shows him trying to pull out the usual trend of kids or young men slaying dragons with confidence while ignoring the logic that they aren't trained properly. This ends the way reality would portray, the kid fails horribly and ended up with himself and his country destroyed. The good ending shows that it would take experienced, well-trained, and strong men to defeat strong dragons.
- Standard Hero Reward: He seeks this. Doesn't quite go his way.
- Sweet and Sour Grapes: In his good ending. Despite admitting to his lie of being a knight, the peasant does get a little peck on the cheek from the princess for his honesty.
"On this fine night, he searches for his true love. But does desire burn too brightly in his heart?"A guy with a pair of blue overalls, a thick red beard, a straw hat, and no shirt. Capable of holding his breath to swim deeper and farther than any other character.
- Does Not Like Shoes
- Freudian Excuse: He's clearly shown to have suffered from Parental Neglect. It's also why he's so sure a pink teddy bear will conquer his "true love": he had the same as a child and it was his only friend.
- Love Makes You Evil
- Multiple Endings: Based on whether he takes the big Pink Bear out of the cave.
- Pyro Maniac: In his bad ending he burns down the carnival, and then goes on a spree, burning down county fairs and carnivals across the country.
- Second Love: In his good ending. After being rejected by the glamorous circus performer, he meets up with a simple country girl, finds happiness, and raises many little Billhillies.
- Security Blanket: His pink teddy bear.
- Super Not-Drowning Skills
The Time Traveler
"She is here to right a wrong a million years in the making. Fortunately for her, yesterday is a new day."From The Future comes this neon-decorated young woman. She comes determined to fix the past to save her future equipped with the ability to phase through small barriers.
- Disproportionate Retribution: She killed the progenitor of a family dating back millions of years simply because her current generation's member won Greatest Employee of All Time at the Mega Corp. where they were employed, and he may have lorded it over her.
- Driven by Envy
- Flash Step: Her special ability.
- Multiple Endings: Based on whether she takes the Greatest Employee trophy out of the cave.
- Hartman Hips
- Reality Ensues: She thinks killing her rival's ancestor from the stone age can remove his existence. She really doesn't know that a caveman can be an ancestor to, let's say, great and important people who made her future possible, and her rival isn't the caveman's only descendant.
- Science Is Useless: Man, those hover-boots sure are flashy. Too bad they don't let her do more than float a couple inches off the ground and still subject her to every other gravity-based issue the other characters can have.
"She is on the cusp of a great discovery for all of humankind...and a hundred million lives hang in the balance."Plump, female, highly intelligent, very morally questionable aims. Can use SCIENCE! to subvert various control panels and other devices.
- Greed: For no stated reason other than cold hard cash, she assisted in the launch of a nuclear missile which killed over a hundred million people.
- Hollywood Hacking: Her special ability.
- Kick the Dog: The guidance system for the missile? A little monkey which she coaxed into his place with a bunch of bananas.
- A MacGuffin Full of Money: Her Object of Desire.
- Multiple Endings: Based on whether or not she takes the briefcase of cash from the cave.
"She is hot on the trail of her lost companions and unequaled ancient treasure. But not necessarily in that order."A lady adventurer from the days of exploring old tombs in search of her fortune. She can use a grappling hook to swing across gaps and climb up to platforms inaccessible by others.
- Action Girl
- Adventurer Archaeologist
- It's All About Me: Oh yes...
- Multiple Endings: If the Adventurer leaves the cave with the gold coffin, Bad Ending. Otherwise, Good Ending.
"They just want to go outside and play. What could be more innocent than that?"From Victorian London come these two very eerie, quiet children, a boy and a girl, with glowing eyes. Can leave behind ghosts of themselves to hold switches in place.
- Creepy Child: Most definitely.
- Creepy Twins: Goes without saying.
- For the Evulz: The Cave suggests this might have been their motivation.
- Half-Identical Twins
- Self-Made Orphan: Why the are in the cave.
- I Just Want to Be Free: With the darkest possible tone. When they felt too oppressed by their proper, upstanding (but very loving and reasonable) parents, they simply killed them with rat poison.
- Kick the Dog: Their parents bought them each ponies, which both died in a "mysterious" barn fire.
- Multiple Endings: Based on whether or not they take the rat poison from the cave.
- Spoiled Brat: Listening to Daddy may cause him to say that he will each buy them another pony if they're good.
"He seeks his master, so he can become the master. It's a journey filled with peace and enlightenment...and murder. (evil laugh) Oops, sorry."A Tibetan-style monk who always seems to be at peace. His ability is to use telekinesis to grab or manipulate out of reach objects, even through walls.
- Always Someone Better
- Deceptive Disciple
- Epic Fail: This guy failed to have any of the traits of a true monk. No wonder he was passed over by his master.
- Klingon Promotion: His ultimate goal.
- Mind over Matter
- Multiple Endings: Depending on whether he takes the Meditation Statue out of the cave.